Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed Bug Success Stories

Lots of trial and error but I got rid of them.

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  1. abit_more_alive

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2014 18:37:35
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    Hi all I'm a new poster here. I don't usually post anything anywhere but I need to share my experience with others and hopefully add to the tools others can use to fight them off. I looked up this site before and obtained some information from here and other sources.

    I have suspicions on how I got the bedbugs and some theory but nothing to prove how they appeared. It could be me roaming the flower fields a month or two before I got my first bite but I think that is unlikely now. The two other ideas is me having a big party with 15+ friends who might have brought it over OR it could be the 3 office chairs the company was discarding and I took it home. In retrospect the office chairs might be the culprit. The company may not want to warn anyone that they actually have bedbugs so I brought a couple home thinking they are perfectly fine and the office is only upgrading their chairs. Aside from how I got them, let me move on to the extermination and things I tried.

    I first noticed a clusters of 50+ bites on my hip just suddenly one day. I first thought it was my new and generic brand shower gel so eventually I threw that away. It got worse and worse until I had sleepless nights. I thought I was allergic for a month or three before I started to realize that actually bedbugs was causing it. I didn't believe it at first but the evidence mounted until I was 100% sure.

    After I noticed, I tried to protect myself by wearing many layers of clothing. Boxers, shirt over, sweat pants over shirt, another shirt, another pants over shirt, a sweat shirt over the pants. Socks over the pants. Guess what? I did that for some time and it didn't work. They crawl right in. They aimed for behind my knee and my groin area. As I reduced their numbers they only concentrate on my groin. In particular they attack my balls.

    I was sleeping on a wooden bed. At first I vacuumed everything time after time but that didn't work very effectively. I took apart the bed multiple times and left it in the sun. I hauled the mattress and the heavy wood parts into the yard to get them sunned. The theory here is the sun will heat everything and kill them. I must have did this for 10+ times before I got sick of it and just threw away the bed. I then spent about 200 on a metal frame bed and started using that. It will be about 2.5 years of battling them with trial and error before they are gone.

    Why so long you might ask? Probably because I'm cheap and did not want to call an exterminator specially when they cannot guarantee they will get rid of them. My gf at the time thought I should. The bites did not affect her so I pretty much looked like a crazy person. The bugs caused a lot of tension in the relationship and eventually tore us apart. It was not the main reason but a good 50% of it.

    I can go on and tell more about the trial and errors and but I'll just to the important parts that I have not read elsewhere or that is not emphasized enough for effective bedbug removal.

    1. Declutter. You HAVE to remove everything you do not use. Think extreme minimalist. It was not apparent to me at first but this is CRUCIAL. I used to think, yeah I'll just vacuum everything once and it'll be good. After 2.5 years of trial and error, having a single extra item near where you lounge means you will be cleaning each item 100+ times in the future. Each time you notice a bite, you will be cleaning EVERYTHING again. And if you must clean everything, the time it takes to clean everything multiplies. So having the least amount of stuff will save you time. I used to have a shelf with a tone of stuff in it with a drawer and papers, etc. Now I use a desk with drawers removed, one pen, one scissors, one lamp, one monitor, one desktop/mouse/keyboard. I even use a wired mouse instead of wireless because it has one less charging station. After you declutter, I moved all the items into another room. I am lucky enough to have another room to stash all this stuff where no one resides. The bugs will get hungry over the next year and will come to your lounge area.

    2. Be careful who you invite to your home. With bedbugs becoming a pretty widespread issue these days, any friend or relative could have it. It sounds obvious but what if you suspect a gf has bedbugs. You cant really not invite her over right? There are social pressures. It only takes one time for them to completely ruin your life and boom, you have bedbugs again. Solution? Don't invite people over. See people outside. It's hard when people want to come over to hang out but being bedbug free is sooooo worth it. I had my problem pretty well controlled for about a week and zero bugs no matter where I lounge or sit. I invite the gf over and I got bit immediately. I wasn't sure if it was them coming back as it could be or she brought it over. I now know it was from her clothes/purse.

    3. Drying your clothes costs A LOT of money! Why? Because the heat escapes. Not everyone have a wireless thermometer such as myself. I got one eventually and it turns out my dryer was not hot enough and I used it for a good couple months before realizing this. I now use my oven to cook the crap out of all my stuff. It is quite economical. I can pretty much bake 24-7 for 30 days and add only $15 to my electric bill maybe $25 in the winter. At first I burned a few things and smoke came out but I found the right method to not do that anymore. A few singed and ruined things? Psshhh small price to pay to kill bedbugs! At first I started with a few hours... then it because 5, 6, 7, 8 and now I just say F* it, 12 hours. That's right 180F for 12 freakin hours. Oh, it started at most oven minimum temp of 170F also. I put everything I wear in baking pans making sure they do not hang off the edge of the pan. I can pack things tightly in there so I can fit 4-5 full change of clothes or so per round. I even put my comforter in there. It fills up almost the whole oven. My way to not burn the comforter is to cover it with a towel and put it on top of two pans. Exposed parts of the towel/comforter should be tucked a bit so that the heat can go up and around. If not the heat will be trapped, get too hot and singe the towel. You can tell that I did a lot of trial and error before coming up with this method. This method is probably not fire safe and should not be recommended to anyone so DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK. I was pretty hesitant to do this at first but I was pretty desperate short of spending a bundle on those Packtites things.

    [Admin note: baking your things is a fire risk and not a good idea. If you cannot afford a Packtite, use a dryer or other appropriate methods, depending on the type of item.]

    This was my only defense when I find bedbugs in my things at first so I was happy to at least have one weapon. 2 years after using it I got paranoid that if I leave the things unattended after baking, bugs may be attracted to the heat and climb into my freshly baked clothes. So now I time things so that I can remove the close right when it is done baking. After removal, I store everything inside zip lock bags. The zip lock bags I actually reuse. I know there could be a chance a bug will stay in the bag but it is more economical to reuse bags. After each use, I now check for air tightness by using my hand to fluff the bag up and seal it. Then I squeeze it with light pressure. If there is a hold larger than 0.5mm and I can feel a tiny stream of air come out and spray my face, I will discard the bag and use it for something else. Large sweat shirts will stretch 1 gallon bags so you'll have to find larger bags for larger items. Ziploc sells these large vacuum bags which I put all my freshly baked comforters inside. I have 3-4 sets of pillows and comforters so I can rotate in a new set when I need to do a round of cleaning.

    4. I have Climbups on all legs of my 12 leg metal bed frame. During my trials I must have vacuumed this thing 100+ times. The Climbups do work but not as effective as you think they are. I trapped a lot of spiders and carpet bettles but only trappeda about half a dozen bedbugs during the lifetime of my 2.5 years of use. I tortured each and every bedbug I find while screaming at it. =D I sprayed bedbug insecticide I got at home depot into the outer well channel. I think this was a mistake eventually as it made the well a bit more tacky. I grew suspicious of this and cleaned out the wells and used baby powered to make it slippery again. I have carpet in the bedroom so if you use Climbups, the bed post will punch a hold through the plastic. To protect the Climbups, I stuck some sheet aluminum about 1mm thick to each Climbup so that it disperses the bed legs force a bit. This worked and I do not need to keep buying new ones as the company would want you to do to make more money.

    5. I have a matress cover and it works great. I accidentally poked a hole in it which I resealed with a piece of packing tape. I used caulk to seal all holes in the metal bed frame and believe me, there were a lot. I did this 5-6 times and it seems I always find holes I didn't find initially to seal.

    6. Vacuuming helps but it doesn't get into the seams. I vacuumed everything I had in my bedroom over the course of a few months. It seemed to reduce the numbers but I had to spray the bed frame with bedbug insecticide to really kill them.

    7. DE along the edge of the carpet. DE for pools is cancerous! Use the proper kind. Sprinkles underneath the edges and in the moldings. I did this for long term protection. Do not spray insecticide in the DE as I think this may wash the DE away. Put DE inside electrical wall sockets too. Be careful not to touch the live screws with 110V when pulling out the electricals to get into the socket box in the wall, they are located between the sockets on the sides.

    8. I have super bedbug detection powers now. I am hyper sensitive to bites and will notice it within about 30-50 minutes of getting bitten. Bugs are out there! They are in public places! I hang around all day in my sanitized clothes and I feel just great. I know nothing is on me. But then I go to certain places then bam! itchy! I got bitten in a theater once, BART transit once, at an outdoor auditorium seats once, in a work conference room, in someone's car. Sometimes I want to shoot myself because of how itchy things get.

    9. Itchy Relief. I just shower and scratch the crap out of the itchy spots. Doing it in the shower actually is very sanitary because of the running water. It stops becoming itchy and heals faster after. I tried various ointments and they never work. Water works. Okay, there is this one powder that works well. It's called Snake Brand Prickly Heat powder mad in Thailand, it works. I don't use that because the menthol is probably not good for reproductive areas.

    10. Couch. Too large to heat. I just vacuum all the seams but that doesn't work too well. What DOES work is vacuum and then spray insecticide in all the seams. Wear a light mask so you don't breath in the aerosolized chemicals. Leave the area for a few hours after spraying before coming back.

    I have so much experience to share and want to help others. I actually want everyone to know what I know so we can rid this world of bedbugs. After building so much protection at my place I really feel it is a harsh environment for bugs at my place. Even if someone bring bugs, I feel I can clean everything very quickly and kill them off with a week or two.

    I tried this yeast and sugar water with bottle and tupper wear trap method I found on youtube. You can emit CO2 and have them climb into the trap. Sadly I didn't catch any. I feel it's because it needs to be warmer. So I'm going to try this method again with a chemical heating pouch WITH CO2 to make it a better trap.

    I think this is long enough for the first post. I have more tips to share and I'll post more later.

  2. abit_more_alive

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2014 18:50:16
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    Moved from another thread:

    Nobugsonme - 23 hours ago  » 
    abit_more_alive,
    I have some questions for you:
    Do you still have bed bugs?
    Also, re:

    I have suspicions on how I got the bedbugs and some theory but nothing to prove how they appeared. It could be me roaming the flower fields a month or two before I got my first bite but I think that is unlikely now.

    Why would you come home from "flower fields" with bed bugs?
    Please note also, you should not be giving bed bug treatment advice. There are experts here who can do this for others if needed. Bed bugs should not take 2.5 years to eliminate.
    Thanks!

    I have no more bedbugs in my home now and clear for about 2 weeks so far.

    Yes I realize that being in the "flower fields" would not get you any bedbugs. I did say that I think that is unlikely now. It was one of the theories I had and I now think it is completely impossible since they wont survive long out there.

    For treatment advice part, it's just what worked for me and I hope others will find it useful. I think anyone that successfully get rids of the bugs are experts. True, it should not take 2.5 years but that's because I did it wrong the first 2.3 years from the trial and error. With what I shared, I think a new person getting bedbugs can do it much faster than myself.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2014 19:09:23
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    Also moved:

    bbvsbb - 11 hours ago  » 
    Bed bugs can take years to kill if you have other people bringing them into your home or if you pick them up from somewhere.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2014 19:16:18
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    Bbvsbb wrote,

    Bed bugs can take years to kill if you have other people bringing them into your home or if you pick them up from somewhere.

    Well, if you have a local source of exposure to bed bugs, then they will likely be coming in indefinitely until the source is cut off and your bed bugs are dealt with.

    On the other hand, I was responding to the poster above who had bed bugs for 2.5 years but did not report using anything besides vacuuming and DE to treat them and who refused to call a professional in. I think the issue here may have been the type of treatment used and the skill with which it was used.

    Abit,

    We may disagree on what constitutes an "expert". I am glad your bed bugs are gone but I don't think trial and error is the best way. There are experts here who will give DIY advice so I would recommend people ask them directly rather than take the advice of someone who is not as experienced.

    Note I have been running this site for 8 years and I still don't consider myself an expert. I am using the term to refer to people who are entomologists or pest management professionals who treat bed bugs all day long.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. BugsUpInFlames

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Dec 10 2014 23:58:37
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    I cannot imagine bed bugs getting under that many layers of clothing every night. Is that even possible? The occasional stray getting under your pant leg is one thing (I had a single experience with a rash on my knee early on because one did somehow....once!), but if you were wearing that much, it baffles me! They'd go for your face first, because they go for exposed flesh, not under your clothing. You didn't mention covering your hands, either, and those would be prime targets.

    Every single bite I ever got except that one was on exposed flesh. Nearly all on my hands or arms. Once on my earlobe. A couple on my feet.

    With that sole exception, never under my clothes!

    Formerly BeenBuggedMidoriBird
  6. iwantosleepinpeace

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 12 2014 18:43:41
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    what really works? i had these pesky things since feb of this year. they were gone for a few weeks but came back. i tried pesticides you can buy from the grocery, but they are very active the night you sprayed. that was the worst. i tried steaming, i got bit more than usual when i did that.

    i will now try rubbing alcohol + dishwashing liquid. sadly, the brand that was suggested is not available where im from. (im not from the us) im planning to move. but i would like for this things to be in control before i do move.

    do you feel them crawling on you but dont see them?

  7. Warfighter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 12 2014 19:19:43
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    BeenBuggedMidoriBird,

    In my experience bed bugs don't squeeze into tight places in order to feed like a tick would do by crawling up your sock inside your pant leg and then bite you in the groin area. Their harboring instinct is to squeeze into tight spaces, but not what they do when they are feeding. They go for exposed skin and if you have your body 100% covered they will not bite you by burrowing in between a tucked in shirt and your sweatpants for example.

    I used head to toe protection for a time including a mosquito net over my head and neck because a bed bug will find the exposed skin on you otherwise. When a bed bug can't find any skin to feed on it will either go back to its harborage or hang around for a while in a temporary harborage. This happened on several occasions. They parked themselves under my pillow after failing to get a meal. I would set my alarm for 4:30AM and caught a few confused bed bugs wondering why this human doesn't have any exposed skin. One night my long sleeve shirt became untucked from my glove. When I realized it in the morning I said oh no and examined the area of my wrist that was exposed. Sure enough i had 3 pin size bites from the little bastards. That pissed me off because it restarted the clock in my strategy to starve/dehydrate them.


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